Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Lion and the Horse(1952).

The Lion and the Horse(1952). Cast: Steve Cochran, Ray Teal, Bob Steele, Harry Antrim, George O'Hanlon and Sherry Jackson.

While working with a group of wild horse hunters, Ben Kirby comes across a beautiful, black stallion. Wanting the horse for himself, Ben captures it, but before he can raise the money, Matt sells the stallion to a rodeo showman. Ben searches for the horse by working the rodeo circuit, he eventually finds the owner, Dave Tracy and the horse. Tracy refuses to sell Ben the horse, as he is making a good living at rodeos and fairs. Believing that the rough treatment will soon destroy the stallion, Ben leaves Tracy $600, the amount Tracy paid for the stallion and sets the horse free. With Ben following close behind. The stallion heads for the back country, where Ben then recaptures him. Looking for a place to stay he comes across the ranch of Cas Bagley, Ben soon is working as a ranch hand in exchange for board and a place to train his stallion.

Overtime, Ben tames and trains Wildfire and the horse later safes his life when he pulls Ben out of quicksand. When a circus lion escapes from a traveling show, he stalks Jenny and causes a stampede of wild horses, but Ben, saves Jenny in time. Later that same day, Tracy has been searching for Wildfire shows up at the ranch threatening to have Ben arrested for horse theft. Tracy tries to steal the horse during the night, Wildfire fights back and kills him. Bagley warns Ben that the law requires the destruction of any animal causing a man's death and gives him a head start to the state line before calling the sheriff. Ben and Wildfire travel to Wyoming through back country. While Ben is asleep, the lion attacks Wildfire, but after a very tense struggle, (you can see that sometimes the lion is not real, but.. still very well done)Wildfire stomps the lion to death. The next morning, the sheriff, with Bagley and Jenny, catch up with them, Ben sets Wildfire free and is ready to put up fight rather than see his horse destroyed. Will the sheriff see their side of the story? Filmed on location in Wyoming, a good film for adults and children. What caught my interest in this film was the title.

Steve Cochran (May 25, 1917 - June 15, 1965). From 1949 to 1952, he worked for Warner Brothers (mostly supporting roles, often playing boxers and gangsters). He performed in films: The Chase (1946), The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), Copacabana (1947), A Song Is Born (1948), Highway 301 (1950), The Damned Don't Cry! (1950), and Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison (1951), which inspired Johnny Cash to write his song "Folsom Prison Blues".

One of his most memorable roles was as, Big Ed Somers, in the film, White Heat (1949). In 1953, Cochran formed his own production company, Robert Alexander Productions a couple of his movies were: Come Next Spring (1956), and Michelangelo Antonioni’s Il Grido (1957).

Cochran starred in a string of B-movies including, Carnival Story (1954). He also frequently appeared in episodes of the most popular television series of the era, including guest spots on Bonanza, The Untouchables, Route 66, Bus Stop, and The Twilight Zone.

Cochran was the grandfather of film and television producer Alex Johns, who co-executive produced more than seventy episodes of the animated television series, Futurama.

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